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Alumni Snapshot: Cailin Marsden

Cailin Marsden was a part of the very first Community Adventure Program (CAP) class at New Vista High School in the fall of 2003. Since then she has kept in touch with the Cottonwood Institute and for a short time helped to contribute to the Institute’s blog. Cailin’s passion for the environment and the outdoors shines through in everything she does.

Q: What are you up to these days?

A: These days find me in my first year attending Marlboro College in beautiful southern Vermont.  Currently, I’m exploring cultural anthropology as my main vein of study at Marlboro and was recently accepted into their World Studies Program. This program promotes a global perspective through international experience and, for the majority of my junior year, I will find myself abroad in a self-designed internship.  Next semester I will begin working for Marlboro’s Outdoor Program and assist different student expedition groups prepare for their trips with college-provided gear, as well as maintain the vast network of hiking/alpine ski trails and other odd-jobs.  I must say, I will be using some skills I learned during my CAP course while working for Marlboro’s O.P. and am eager to learn more in the process.

Q: What is your favorite Cottonwood Institute memory or story from your course?

A: If you want to walk quietly, you put your foot down gently—first the toe and rolling down to the heel.  This was the fox walk that my class learned during one of our many class outings.  We practiced silently creeping up to a blindfolded person who sat in the middle of a clearing.  Ultimately, we wanted to get close enough to touch the blindfolded person without being pointed-out.  It was one of my favorite experiences with CAP, all of my senses were heightened, each movement deliberate, and I was acutely aware of my natural surroundings and the changing locations of my fellow creepers.

Q: What environmental issue are you most passionate about and what are you doing to address it?

A: Over the past year, I’ve wanted to become more personally involved with the food that I eat, trying to shorten its journey from dirt to fork and reduce my eco-footprint.  Over the summer, I turned my front yard into a vegetable garden and became more involved with the Boulder Farmers’ Market, supporting the local food movement as best I could.  Since arriving at Marlboro College, I’ve been an active caretaker of the school’s garden where we grow a significant amount of fresh produce to be consumed by students year-round.  Most recently, I’ve collaborated with some of my fellow garden-tenders and the Marlboro kitchen staff to compost all  food scraps, including those from the dining hall.  The whole project has been a great success so far, though there are still some kinks to work out (especially in freezing temperatures early next year…that should be interesting).  Overall, I am happy to have helped in reducing the amount of compostable food Marlboro dumps in the trash every day and converting it into rich garden soil.  Go compost!


Categories: Alumni Spotlight, Cottonwood Institute News

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